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S O C I A L P R O T E C T I O N F O R S U S TA I N A B L E D E V E L O P M E N T - S P 4 S D



A transformative new global development agenda

was adopted by UN Member States at the General
Assembly in September 2015 in New York. The
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and
its seventeen Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) are a shared global framework - universally
applicable to both rich and poor countries alike that seeks to reconcile the social, economic and
environmental dimensions of development in the
interest of human dignity. As such, Agenda 2030
sets out to tackle persistent challenges of ending
extreme poverty and hunger, reducing inequality,
achieving gender equality, educating all children
and improving global health, while simultaneously
addressing deep-rooted environmental issues, such
as water scarcity, biodiversity loss, deforestation,
rapid urbanization and a changing climate.
A defining feature of this new agenda is its
determination to leave no one behind - an
ethos adopted due to widespread concern over
growing inequalities which, in their multiple
dimensions, have often left people excluded from
development gains. Poor and marginalized groups
are particularly vulnerable to various shocks
throughout life cycles, whether they stem from
social, environmental and/or economic factors.
These fluctuations subject millions of people each
year to greater risk of sinking below the poverty
line or remaining trapped in cycles of poverty
for generations. Strengthening social policies
and social policy frameworks, including those
anchored in social protection, can offer powerful
tools for the fight against poverty and inequality,
and play a fundamental role in creating more
inclusive and sustainable pathways. However, it
is critical that these tools adequately integrate
the multiple vulnerabilities of citizens including
those posed by environmental degradation since
many of the worlds poor continue to depend on
natural resources for their livelihoods. Despite
the realization that social protection plays a
fundamental role in increasing citizen resilience
and unleashing positive spin-offs in health, decent
work, food and income security, among other areas,
an estimated 80 percent of the global population
has little or no access to comprehensive social
protection. It is against this backdrop that Agenda

2030 has integrated social protection into Goal 1

on poverty, while calling for the implementation
of nationally appropriate social protection systems
and measures for all by 2030.
The following flagship report focusing on Social
Protection for Sustainable Development (SP4SD)
serves as a companion policy analysis for national
and global advocacy on inclusive, equitable and
sustainable development. It looks at the role that
social protection can play in this effort, which
can be instrumental, coordinating, enabling and
resilience-building. The report highlights the
impressive gains in human development and
poverty eradication achieved through the worldrenowned Brazilian social protection scheme and
explores the conceptual and practical mechanics
of its functioning to provide insights for the design
and adoption of social protection schemes in Africa
and beyond. Compiling the excellent contributions
that informed the April 2015 Dakar Seminar
hosted by the UNDP World Centre for Sustainable
Development (RIO+ Centre), in collaboration with
the UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, the
African Union Commission, the Government of
Senegal, the Government of Brazil and the Lula
Institute, the report positions social protection in
the context of delivering with and for the poor,
while building new foundations for sustainable
human development. The report counts mainly
on voices from the South and explores prospects
for furthering development-driven South-South
cooperation, with a focus on Brazil and Africa.
Now more than ever, the challenges faced by
governments and development partners are
complex and interlinked. Climate change, rapid
urbanization and the degradation of the natural
environment are putting more people at risk of
poverty, disease outbreaks and natural disasters.
While the vital policy links between poverty
reduction and natural resource management
have often been overlooked, there is growing
recognition that integrated social protection
systems can effectively contribute to all dimensions
of sustainable development. Some countries have
introduced measures that combine elements
of conditional cash transfers and payment for

ecosystem services schemes to advance objectives

of poverty reduction and sustainable natural
resource management concurrently, thereby
reducing vulnerabilities in both the immediate
and long term. In Africa, countries such as
Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho and Mauritius
have adopted social protection policies and
programmes, including targeted school feeding
and cash transfers, to improve the lives of their
most vulnerable citizens. Yet, so far, only 20
percent of the continents poorest people have
access to resources that help them cope when
shocks hit or provide opportunities to climb out
of poverty. UNDP has been an active proponent
of comprehensive social protection systems, with
a US$100 million portfolio of social protection
projects underway in over 50 countries in 2014.
The role of social protection as an effective
tool for sustainable development is reaffirmed
in Agenda 2030 and explicitly cited as a target
under Goals 1 and 10 (poverty and inequality

Magdy Martnez-Solimn,
Assistant Administrator and Director
UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

respectively), with inevitable linkages across

the goals on health, employment, labour laws
and unpaid care work, among others.
The present report
Strengthening Social
Protection for Sustainable Development:
Dialogues between Africa and Brazil is a primer
for action. It promotes the adoption of integrated
and comprehensive social protection policies
and programmes that are not only designed as
technical solutions to address the shortcomings
of current development models. These models
produce multiple vulnerabilities for a range of
citizens who either do not benefit equally from
their countrys progress or who, throughout
their life cycle, face moments of risk and need for
protection. Instead, the programmes promoted
here are driven by conviction and a non-partisan
political vision owned by the state, based on the
recognition of human rights and accepted as a
cornerstone of citizen-state relations, otherwise
known as the social contract.

Abdoulaye Mar Dieye,

Assistant Administrator and Director
UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa